portrait

noun
por·​trait | \ ˈpȯr-trət How to pronounce portrait (audio) , -ˌtrāt\

Definition of portrait

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : picture especially : a pictorial representation of a person usually showing the face
2 : a sculptured figure : bust
3 : a graphic portrayal in words

portrait

adjective

Definition of portrait (Entry 2 of 2)

: of, relating to, or being a rectangular document having the vertical dimension longer than the horizontal dimension switching from landscape to portrait mode — compare landscape sense 3

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Examples of portrait in a Sentence

Noun

The queen posed for her portrait. The book presents a portrait of life in a small town.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The walls are adorned with portraits painted by fans of Griffin, an actor and comedian with a line in raunchy humour. The Economist, "Power-walking with Kathy Griffin," 12 July 2019 His only aesthetic input into the project was to set the height of the statue and to provide Zupevc with a full-body portrait of Trump. Palko Karasz, BostonGlobe.com, "Melania Trump gets a statue near her hometown, carved by chain saw," 6 July 2019 Luckily, despite the strict 25-guest limit on the intimate event, the royals decided to gift the public with two portraits from the Saturday (July 6) ceremony. Halie Lesavage, Glamour, "Kate Middleton's Stella McCartney Look for Archie's Christening Is Giving Us Serious Gossip Girl Vibes," 6 July 2019 The storefronts with the portraits of residents and employees are in the 200 and 300 blocks of Miracle Mile. Johnny Diaz, sun-sentinel.com, "‘Shhh,’ on Miracle Mile in Coral Gables this summer is not telling you to stop talking," 3 July 2019 In addition to the outside activities, students will draw and paint self-portraits for their baseball cards. Bob Dohr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A Waukesha school is using baseball to teach kids about math, technology and art this summer," 27 June 2019 Bruguera introduced her guests then sat with the audience, without mentioning her own contribution, a short-term site-specific installation in the Armory’s broad hallway, hung with portraits of eminent nineteenth-century military men. Esther Allen, The New York Review of Books, "The Art of the Possible at Havana’s Bienal," 15 June 2019 At least one small Brazilian publisher, Mâle, has committed to publishing Machado’s work with the new portrait. New York Times, "In Brazil, a New Rendering of a Literary Giant Makes Waves," 14 June 2019 Others entered and saw the usual scene of students and tourists taking photos, with the portrait of Mao in the backdrop, where visitors lined up to enter the Forbidden City. Alice Su, latimes.com, "In Beijing, disappearances and security controls ensure quiet Tiananmen anniversary," 4 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Yet for all the darkness, there’s a welcome and important dose of levity too, from a hilarious video of a beauty products fair by María Luisa Bemberg to Regina Vater’s playful, costumed self-portrait photographs. New York Times, "The Art of Staying Cool: 10 Can’t-Miss Summer Shows in New York," 4 July 2018 Arneson sets the tone through a ceramic self-portrait head from 1973, wall-mounted near the entry. Leah Ollman, latimes.com, "This Candy Store wasn't a candy store: Remembering a California gallery that made art stars," 3 July 2018 In portrait orientation, the left side of the bottom bar only has space for about three to four app icons. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Acer Chromebook Tab 10 review: Chrome OS revives Google’s tablet future," 23 June 2018 And even though the demand for photographers in traditional media has declined, there’s still a high-demand for commercial and portrait photographers. Jenny Knizner, USA TODAY, "20 In-Demand Freelance Skills That’ll Get You Hired Today," 4 June 2018 Dorothea Tanning’s self-portrait Birthday (1942) shows her bare-breasted, standing with a small winged monster with her back to a house full of open doors. Thomas Hine, Philly.com, "Art Museum show gives American Modernists - and Philly ones - new respect," 12 Apr. 2018 The heads presage a self-portrait print from 1990, displayed nearby, as well as the soft fabric figurative sculptures that Bourgeois took up in the late ’90s. Roberta Smith, New York Times, "Louise Bourgeois: Imagination Unfolds in All Dimensions," 27 Sep. 2017 Portrait sessions for families whose memories were stolen by the wind. Southern Living, "What Stands in a Storm, Part III: Fellowship," 1 May 2017 There’s a 1922 self-portrait painting of Best Maugard in the show. Holland Cotter, New York Times, "“Paint the Revolution: Mexican Modernism, 1910-1950”," 27 Oct. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'portrait.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of portrait

Noun

1570, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1975, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for portrait

Noun

Middle French, from past participle of portraire

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Statistics for portrait

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for portrait

The first known use of portrait was in 1570

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More Definitions for portrait

portrait

noun

English Language Learners Definition of portrait

: a painting, drawing, or photograph of a person that usually only includes the person's head and shoulders
: a detailed description of something or someone
: a way of printing a page so that the shorter sides are on the top and bottom and the longer sides are on the left and right

portrait

noun
por·​trait | \ ˈpȯr-trət How to pronounce portrait (audio) , -ˌtrāt\

Kids Definition of portrait

: a picture of a person usually showing the face

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More from Merriam-Webster on portrait

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with portrait

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for portrait

Spanish Central: Translation of portrait

Nglish: Translation of portrait for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of portrait for Arabic Speakers

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